To view any photo at full size, click on the photo with the
right mouse button. All photos are
copyright Wayne and Patricia Primeau. All Rights Reserved.
Tamerlane decided to adopt us, he was in sad shape. From the look of
him, he had been living rough for some time. Winter in Ottawa is not
kind to homeless animals. Not only is there little food available, but
the few that do not die of starvation often freeze to death. The night
he arrived on our doorstep Tam was thin, scruffy, battered and very
dirty, but he knew that he wanted a home and a family, and he had
to a combination of no innoculations, stress and malnutrition, he
caught a respiratory infection in quarantine at the Humane Society. He
came down with it a few days after we brought him home. He stopped
eating, stopped drinking, stopped reacting at all when we came into the
guest bedroom where we were keeping him. Even with medication from our
vet, we thought we were going to lose him. We mixed strained chicken
baby food with warm water to make it thin enough, then force fed him
with a syringe every hour for days. We had almost given up hope for his
recovery, when he finally started biting at the syringe, then eating on
his own again.
he started eating, he was back to
health very quickly. Then it was time to introduce him to the rest of
the family. He was young and playful. He used to hide around corners
and attack whomever came by first. Erika and Hannah, both quiet and
timid creatures, were afraid of him for months. They used to stop and
peak around corners before entering a room.
he wanted to be friends with Hannah. I was
outside washing the windows. I saw him walk up to her as she lay in a
patch of sun by the front window. To my amazement, he started licking
her head, face and ears, grooming her. Hannah was terrified. Her eyes
were so wide the whites were visible all around, and she was shaking.
He just kept grooming her. Eventually this became a routine behaviour,
and Hannah came to enjoy his attentions.
arrived in February. By the time
the following Christmas rolled around, he was a secure member of the
family. We don't know if he had ever seen a Christmas tree before, but
to him it was a most wondrous sight. He seemed to think it was a large
and elaborate cat toy, put up just for his enjoyment. And enjoy it he
Every year for the first five years he lived with us, he knocked the
tree over at least twice. He slept under it. He climbed it. He took the
ornaments off the lower branches and batted them around the house. He
unwrapped presents, his, ours, dogs, any presents. He had a delightful
time. He seemed quite put out when the tree came down and was packed
away for the next year.
has never been completely content to be an indoor cat. He spends hours
each day staring out the window. In Moscow we lived on the 11th floor
of a highrise. Crows and pigeons often landed on the window ledges. Tam
used to crouch and stare at them, tail lashing, growling and meowing,
very excited. Alas, there was no safe place to let him out.
In Ottawa and in Jerusalem we were able to put him on a long
attached to a stake in the lawn. He could roll in the grass, chase bugs
in the flower beds or just snooze in the sunshine.
our Moscow apartment, one of Tam's favourite places to nap was on a
cloth doll I bought from a lady on the Old Arbat, the shopping street
near the Embassy. Cats are good at staking out the most comfortable
places in a home, but this
was one of the most amusing. It always made us smile to see him sound
asleep in the doll's lap.
in Canada, Tam goes out in the back garden with his two dogs. He seems
to understand that we will let him out almost every time they go out if
he comes back inside when they do, without being chased. Of course we
don't let him out unsupervised as he could walk through the fence and
dissappear, but so far he has gone visiting in the neighbourhood only
once, was caught in a rain storm, and has not tried it since.
To see photos of our other furry friends, click on the links